February 26, 2024

Service Center Steel Shipments Rose In Both United States And Canada Last Month

Connecting the Dots monitors all major economic announcements in the United States and Canada, but the Metals Service Center Institute (MSCI) also offers industrial metals industry-specific data products that provide much deeper analysis and insight. Visit MSCI’s website and click on industry data to learn more about our Momentum Monitors and Economic Pulse.

Meanwhile, here are the major economic headlines from the last week:

  • According to MSCI’s Metals Activity Report, U.S. service center steel shipments increased 0.5 percent from January 2023 to January 2024 while shipments of aluminum products fell 4.8 percent. Steel shipments from Canadian service centers rose 6.8 percent year-over-year while aluminum shipments fell 2.6 percent. Find out how you can get MSCI’s MAR here.
  • The Conference Board’s latest Leading Economic Index, a gauge of future economic activity, fell 0.4 percent to its lowest reading since April 2020. It was the LEI’s 23rd consecutive month of decline. Still, while the Conference Board said the declining reading “continues to signal headwinds to economic activity,” it also noted that, for the first time in the past two years, six out of the reading’s ten LEI components were in positive territory. Click here to read the full report.
  • Meanwhile, the Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago’s National Activity Index, which also attempts to predict future U.S. growth, fell to -0.30 in January from +0.02 in December. Three of the four broad categories of indicators used to construct the index were down from December, and three categories made negative contributions in January. Click here to read the full report.
  • Canadian retail sales rose 0.9 percent from November 2023 to December 2023 due mostly to a 1.9 percent increase in motor vehicle and parts dealer sales. Sales were up one percent for all of the fourth quarter and 2.2 percent for all of 2023.
  • The number of people who applied for U.S. unemployment benefits fell by 12,000 to 201,000 during the week that ended February 17. Averaged over the past four weeks, first-time claims declined to 213,000. In all, roughly 1.862 million people claimed benefits in the United States during the week that ended February 10.
  • In other economic news: While Canada’s Consumer Price Index was unchanged from December 2023 to January 2024, it rose year-over-year, increasing 2.9 percent from January 2023 to January 2024.

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